North/South Financial Divide Gets Smaller All the Time
As households continue to struggle with the weight of their respective financial burdens, new research suggests that this is something being felt right across the UK. Whilst a North/South divide over house prices, wages and other financial measures have commonly been experienced in the UK over the years, the current financial hardship is something which appears to transcend geographical boundaries. According to a report by Lloyds TSB, consumers across the UK are continuing to feel pessimistic about their finances.
New data produced by Lloyds shows that consumers in the Northern part of the UK were the most pessimistic, with 58% of them feeling negative about their financial situation. Londoners were close behind this figure, with 53% beginning to lose confidence.
The news follows a series of price increases and employment cut-backs that have left the nation struggling to cope. One of the most widely reported increases was that of energy prices, with major companies increasing their prices by significant amounts.
More recent reports on energy providers have seen companies investigated and fined for their failure to adhere to correct complaint management procedures. British Gas were fined £2.5million earlier in July whilst Npower have recently been fined £2million. Ofgem, the energy regulator behind these investigations, has also commented that they are looking into how complaints are managed by EDF Energy.
This news demonstrates how some efforts are being made to improve the financial situation and standard of service delivered to struggling consumers. The new regulations were introduced in 2008 and they outline a basic level of service and care customers should receive when making a complaint.
Of course, this does not change the financial burdens currently weighing on the minds of British consumers. With prices and unemployment levels both at unprecedented highs, the government has announced new plans to boost finances generally.
An investment of £1billion of public money will be given to over 100 projects in an attempt to boost the failing economy, whilst creating 35,000 job opportunities at the same time.
One of the new projects will see two new power stations built in Yorkshire, creating 1,000 jobs alone. BT will also invest £300million in helping consumers, with the intention of giving two thirds of households and offices access to “fibre” broadband.